This year the Spurs are celebrating their 50th season in San Antonio. There have been many highs and a few lows. One trademark of the San Antonio Spurs has been their culture and their consistency. The keys to those qualities lie in their players. Always noted for development as well as being ahead of the curve on scouting international players, the Spurs way has made the franchise one of the most successful of all time. As we look back on the Silver & Black, we recognize the top 50 players in Spurs history. Each day, we will move up the countdown.
Number 13 - Danny Green
2013 can torment you in any number of ways. Even if it teed up a redemption story the following year, there are a slew of smaller triumphs and stories that get overshadowed by Ray Allen’s Game 6 bang which is, I suppose, how sports are meant to work. And yet, it’s worth occasionally going back, excising the final result, and reliving some of those forgotten Spurs highs, of which Danny Green was a big part.
Similarly, the Danny Green experience was often about taking those beats — the ice cold shooting nights and times where he took one dribble too many (like, say, two) — and understanding you were still coming out way ahead in the aggregate. The shooting almost always shook out the right way, with Green averaging just under 40% from deep in his 8 seasons in San Antonio and his movement and gravity helping wedge the floor open for the beautiful game. They even coined an action after him for when he’d cut along the baseline to the strong side of the court. Despite being known for his positionally elite shot-blocking (especially chasing down opponents in transition), he remained an underappreciated defender, and an ideal perimeter complement to Kawhi Leonard. You were on the right side of history if you were one of those defending him in the forums following a loss.
In the end, Green’s resume as a Spur speaks for itself: he’s 7th all time in starts, 3rd in three pointers made and 8th in blocks, all numbers that could’ve been higher had he not ended up an accessory to Leonard’s forced exit in 2018.
Few could’ve predicted such a career when Green lasted just one year with the Cavs after being selected 48th in 2009, followed by stints in the D League, and especially after being waived by the Spurs in 2010 and heading overseas. But he absorbed each blow (and ever earful from Gregg Popovich) and became the type of role player every team covets, collecting 2 more rings in 2 other cities. Tack on a national title with the Tar Heels and the fact that he trails only Leonard in win percentage among active players and you have the profile of a guy whose contributions consistently lifted up his teams, even if they didn’t always hit the box score.
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